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Reading, Writing and Speaking tips from Band 8 achiever

This is the rest of Zulquar’s IELTS tips; implementing these techniques helped him achieve overall band score of 8.0 – and he didn’t have any help. Great job, Zulquar!

Reading test

This is a bit too technical area that requires time management and lots of practice. This is all about reading comprehension so if you are an avid reader unlike me, it will pay off well.

For me is was a different case, so I had to get unconventional and so I was reading a lot of newspaper columns and translating it to my native language Hindi, word by word. This helped me to build the basics of comprehension and then I practiced the official IELTS materials given to me while registering to the exam. That helped me to get an idea of the time management that needed to done and helped me identify the one great loophole in the question set, that is the questions themselves.

After getting the question sheet a bit of skimming of what’s about in the question asked for would do magic. So if one goes to the paragraph after skimming the questions, one will identify the paragraphs in which their answers are located and will save a lot of time and effort.

Writing test

This is a portion where you are going to need an evaluator. So I would recommend looking for good study materials and teachers who understand the IELTS pattern. I prepared just by writing short essays and practicing graphs and tables and I still think that I could have done better at it.

Speaking test

Speaking will come easy if one can listen well. I tried the philosophy of staying confident at my word stock. I did a lot of work on accent as in India English is spoken too coarse to be understood.

I was literally speaking to myself every time I was alone. It became a habit of mine and it still is. I must say I graduated from Indian accent to others quite easy as I was able to modulate my mouth and tongue.

I then had to move from laymen speaker to a well spoken person so I started recording myself on my computer and listening to what I sounded like and what I was speaking I was able to see myself from the evaluators point of view. I targeted being more clear, topical and calm while speaking and doing all this I also tried to sound as natural as I could.

Listening tips from high achiever, Band Score 8.5

I got to know Zulquar when he sent me his IELTS result to enroll in our December’s competition. When he told me that he didn’t have any help with exam preparation (he did it on his own and got Band score of 8.5 in the Listening test), I was surprised. Zulquar kindly agreed to share his best tips with all of us, here they are:

The Plan ( The Right Aspiration)

One must identify the key areas that could help one get a better overall band and one should be practical about it. Like one shouldn’t expect an 8 band score in writing module. Likewise one shouldn’t expect 6.0 in listening and reading if he is aspiring for a 7 band overall.

I am emphasizing upon listening and reading because these are the two areas where one could and one should easily expect 8 which I did and succeeded pretty well, and as far as speaking module is concerned one could easily tell by the way he leaves the interview table, the score he is getting. In my case I was damn sure about 8.0, but I eventually got 7.5, this is all due to the over aspiration considering the fact that I left the table very happy and fine.

Anyway, here is the plan that I devised to decode the IELTS, and believe me, it’s easy and enjoyable.

Listening test

This is the key module, that is, high scoring is quite easy in this module. So it is the key to all other modules and is the area which should be the beginning area for preparation.

To prepare for it, I had to identify the pattern of the examination which I did quite easily through a bit of Googling. There are two areas that I had to develop into myself,

1. Cognition of different accents.

I improved on this by watching three Hollywood movies a day, listening to western music ( hats off to Elton John and way with Avril!!!), watching you tube user videos and then doing a bit sort of internet research about the way words are pronounced differently in different countries

2. Improving short term retention

To improve this I had adopted a way, like if I am watching a movie, I paused after watching every five minutes and then tried to jot down the dialogue and all the happenings that went on the screen for this time duration. This was a two way method to improve both cognition and retention, and yes I had to put an effort at it but as more movies and songs went by, I was enjoying it.

 

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